What prompted this woman to go to such an extreme effort to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment (see Luke 8:48)? What does this example teach us about genuine faith? Is faith something passive? Or does it manifest as something active? Explain the difference between these two different ways of understanding faith.
The Epistle of James has a lot to say about faith, especially in chapter 2. James summarizes his teaching on faith in 2:18 where he says, "shew me they faith without works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." James seems to be answering the question posed in our lesson by saying that genuine faith is active - that to say we have faith and not act on the basis of that faith is a contradiction. When I describe myself as a "believer in Christ," I am saying that my faith in Christ is the organizing principle of my life. But even then, faith is not passive. Faith in God is a constant source of spiritual motivation - a force that compels the Christian to action that demonstrates faith. James seems to be saying that if we are not acting on our faith, we likely do not have any. (Gordon Snider)